Rainwater harvesting refers to the process of collecting and storing rainwater runoff for beneficial use. Collecting rainwater for use during drier times is an ancient and traditional practice stemming from the necessity to keep water within reach.
Today we have a constant supply of fresh water at our finger tips, but collecting rain water is still an important practice for a number of reasons. Review the following reasons for rain barrel water collection.
During the warmer months it is estimated that nearly 40% of household water is used for lawn and garden maintenance. 40% less water usage can be a substantial savings. A typical rainfall of one half inch in 24 hours can produce approximately 300 gallons of water that runs off the roof of a modest home.
Rainwater too often becomes wasted water when it is channeled away from the property. Using a barrel to catch the water flowing off the roof is one of the simplest, least expensive ways to conserve water and at the same time divert it away from the storm drains and the already over stressed combined storm sewer systems.
Your lawn and garden, potted plants, trees and shrubs will thrive. Rainwater is oxygenated, with no added chlorine or fluoride and it is naturally soft. Vegetable and flower gardens and container plants can be watered during dry spells using the harvested rain.
Maybe the most relevant to today, rain barrels are an important line of defense against storm water runoff pollution. Rain barrels reduce storm water pollution by reducing the amount of storm water runoff that leaves your property. Water collected in your rain barrel would usually be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams.
Water collected in a rain barrel normally flows off the roof and leave the yard as storm water runoff. Depending on the layout of the yard, this runoff can travel across driveways, lawns and gardens picking up pollutants and depositing them in the storm drain system and ultimately, local waterways. The pollutants could include excess pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, sediment and pet wastes from the lawn and garden, along with driveway pollutants such as heavy metals from brake dust, and leaking automotive fluids.
Rain barrels are a familiar technique, with scientifically demonstrated effectiveness, that allows homeowners to capture storm water runoff and permit its slow infiltration into ground surfaces. Stored rainwater can be recycled for watering lawns and gardens during dry spells. Rain barrels can be set up alone or arranged in tandem or more depending on how much rain water is wanted
Rain barrels are inexpensive, easy to install and to maintain, and in spite of their simplicity, can have a significant impact on both water quality and quantity. A rain barrel can save on the water bill, help the lawn and garden grow and reduce pollution. Some things never go out of style.
The City has a small number of barrels to give away to area residents within the city limits of Moberly for use as rain barrels. For more information on obtaining a barrel, the benefits of using rain barrels or how to build and install them contact Geri Blakey with the City of Moberly at 660-263-7164 or email.